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A Bit Of Previous misses the spark of Belle and Sebastian's past

"A Bit Of Previous"

Release date: 06 May 2022
Belle and sebastian a bit of art
04 May 2022, 22:10 Written by Bella Fleming
A Bit of Previous is Belle and Sebastian’s first full length album in seven years. With the album being recorded in the bands Glasgow – the band’s original home – it seemed set to be standout, yet ultimately misses the mark.

Album single “Unnecessary Drama" promises a fresh take on the band’s classic sound. The blaring guitar, piercing harmonica and punchy lyrics are addictively brilliant: “This is my life / this is my so-called life.” However, the prized feature of this track is not the lyrical story but rather the impressively bold guitar hooks that boisterously embellish the song and propel it into a fiery and utterly addictive sound. It’s a track that doesn’t necessarily fit the usual Belle and Sebastian mould, but will nonetheless suck you in.

Opener “Young and Stupid” is a comfortable Belle and Sebastian song. This signature upbeat hooks paired with layered harmony choruses are heard continuously throughout the album. It’s not a new or particularly exciting sound from the band, and unfortunately means many songs blur into one, with little to differentiate between one upbeat boppy track and another.

“Reclaim The Night” shows promise, but misses the mark. Attempting to bring a new edge this track comes a punchy – almost minimalist –electronic sound, but ultimately, the song never builds to anything of note. “Prophets On Hold” follows a similar strategy with bouncy synths and choppy beat. Again, this song seems to never develop and feels an unnatural fit both in its place in the track list and on the album as a whole.

The are sweet moments, like the gentle melody of “Do it for your country” or “Come On Home” but aside from the album single, “Unnecessary Drama”, few of the songs are memorable. Not seeming to flourish into anything substantial, with such brilliantly crafted and poetically lyrical albums in their in their back catalogue, A Bit of Previous fails to standout. Whilst carrying the same overall feel of If You’re Feeling Sinister and The Boy With the Arab Strap, it lacks the depth and storytelling brilliance that originally made this band so exciting.

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